Content Writing and the Google Panda Update
The Google Panda update certainly shook things up for content writers and webmasters the world over and the results of the update have given plenty of food for thought.
There are plenty of articles out there detailing the intricate details of what Google intended with the update but let’s just deal with the basics. If we are to believe Google, the Panda update was intended to rid (or partially rid) the higher ranked pages on its search engine of low quality content and as a result elevate those with higher quality and more relevant content to the top.
What is low quality content? Well unfortunately, the internet is awash with junk and poorly written, irrelevant articles and content. We’ve all seen those articles on the directories that make no sense whatsoever and that have clearly been sent through an article spinner of some kind and produced 400 words of sparkling incoherence!
Duplicated content is another issue that was central to the Panda update. The Google philosophy on the duplicated content issue, in theory is a good one. Why would you want to read the same piece of content more than once in multiple places? You wouldn’t! So, Google has rightly penalised the use of duplicated web content.
Unfortunately, Google has looked at these article directories somewhat ruthlessly and paid little regard to the fact that along with the junk, there did also happen to be quality content on these sites.
This has meant that all content posted to these sites has suffered since the Panda update was unleashed in early 2011.
It is fair to say that the major directories in question have tried to respond by tightening up their submission demands in attempt to stop the tide of garbage being posted but it may have been too little, too late. Some article directories have vanished altogether.
Is it still worth posting articles to these directories? In 2015, most experts on the subject would probably advise you not to post to article directories (although some might still make a case for posting a sprinkling of articles on some of the better directories that have perhaps recovered well since many of the Google updates) but you do post to these sites at your own risk.
Don’t post the same article on multiple websites, Google doesn’t like it and will penalise not only your content but the site it’s posted on. Don’t post articles to distribution centres (yes – they still exist), this will effectively post your article on multiple sites and once again ends up becoming duplicated material.
The Best Content Writing Solution
If you have well written, quality articles that are relevant to your website or business then be selfish! Keep all your best material for your own website or blog and then perhaps re-write your articles (if you absolutely must) for the article directories. If you have a section for articles on your website, post them there.
You should really also have a blog, directly accessible from your website. Make the blog about your business and make all the content you post there relevant and good and eventually (if your site and blog have been optimised properly) Google will reward you for posting quality, relevant, “on topic” content.
So, the Google Panda update (and subsequent others – Penguin etc.) have been really tough on content writers and webmasters but in many ways quality web content has become even more important for everyone involved. So make sure your websites and blogs are working properly and then get busy adding quality, original content. Google will eventually love you if you do!